What, in your opinion, is the best book that you haven’t liked? Mind you, I don’t mean your most-hated book–oh, no. I mean the most accomplished, skilled, well-written, impressive book that you just simply didn’t like.
Like, for movies–I can acknowledge that Citizen Kane is a tour de force and is all sorts of wonderful, cinematically speaking, but . . . I just don’t like it. I find it impressive and quite an accomplishment, but it’s not my cup of tea.
So . . . what book (or books) is your Citizen Kane?
I think for me, there are two books that fit the bill here: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.
The Grapes of Wrath is the epic story of a generation. Forced migration to the West happened to a lot of people, not just the Joads. Their struggles were very real. And I felt like my teeth were being pulled for every second of the novel. Want to know what’s really ironic? I have absolutely no problem studying Dust Bowl migration in history. I just can’t bear to deal with that kind of unrelenting misery in fiction as well.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a different story. I’ve read it twice- both times for school. And again, I hated every second of it. Not because of misery, though. Just because there was something about it that didn’t gel with me. I can see why other people would like it (lots of adventure, happy ending, etc.), but I would be okay if I never had to read it again. In fact, I’d prefer it that way.